Saturday, 26 April 2008

Sexism alive and well in Montenegro

STOP PRESS: Katie Squires no longer has a job!

After spending several days this week, working for free, in my new role checking every system on every boat and getting them ready for charter, I am told at 6pm yesterday that I cannot do that job and have to go back to being a cleaner. And the reason why? Because I am a woman and apparently, that job requires a man.

Obviously, I told them that I cannot work for them anymore. I am not willing to spend another minute of my life helping to make money for these people.

Today is the first day of the season and all the boats are out on charter - it really doesn't make good business sense to ditch one of the three people who can do anything other than clean boats/stand around posing at 6pm the night before.

We were planning a summer of working together, in a team, both getting valuable experience and sharing the responsibility of keeping these boats afloat. Now it's all gone to pot. It has been a long while since I've felt this angry.

Being judged on what I can do by the virtue of whether I have cock is pretty hard to swallow (don't snigger, child!). What do they think I do when I install a new bilge pump or rewire a light fitting or fit the water filtration system into the undersink plumbing or - shock, horror - start the engine and steer my own boat? Do I strap on a magic penis which gives me super-human powers enabling me to use a screw driver or drill holes? And this job doesn't even require any of that - but I do need to be able to show MEN how to turn on the engine, use the anchor windlass, fire up the outboard motor and turn off seacocks. Maybe it is less to do with my own inadequacies and a little more to do with theirs? To add insult to injury, they have got to get someone in today to help Tim take the boats to be refuelled as he needs crew.

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